[Posted by Karl]
The New York Times was among those breathlessly reporting:
An internal Justice Department inquiry has concluded that Bush administration lawyers committed serious lapses of judgment in writing secret memorandums authorizing brutal interrogations but that they should not be prosecuted, according to government officials briefed on its findings.
Naturally, unhinged hysterics like Andrew Sullivan find the report — which is not yet public — “damning,” despite the fact that the conclusion flatly contradicts his view that the Bush Administration was filled with war criminals.
The Left is certainly not going to want to hear the truth from Andrew McCarthy:
Yet, even as the OPR report is being finalized, even after Obama declared himself open to the possibility of criminal prosecution against the Bush officials, and even after Holder promised to conduct an investigation that would “follow the evidence wherever it takes us, follow the law wherever that takes us” (emphasis added), the Obama Justice Department is relying on the very same legal analysis in order to urge a federal appeals court to reject torture claims. In fact, as the Obama Justice Department argued to that appeals court a little over a week ago, the torture law analysis in question has already been adopted by another federal appeals court.
Adopted by a whopping 10–3 margin in a decision of the entire Third Circuit federal appeals court sitting en banc, in fact — with full knowledge that they were adopting the 2002 guidance from former DOJ officials John Yoo and Jay Bybee.
But wait, there’s more! ABC News Correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg reports:
It appears John Yoo cannot be disciplined or disbarred for writing those memos, even if the Office of Professional Responsibility says it has evidence he should be.
That’s because OPR’s five-year investigation—carefully timed for release only as Bush was leaving the White House and Obama was coming in—dragged on too long. As a result of that timing, OPR blew the deadline for referring possible misconduct allegations against Yoo.
And what about Bybee? Now a federal appeals court judge, Bybee is admitted in DC and Nevada—those jurisdictions don’t have comparable limitations periods. But how strange would it be to only refer Bybee, when his involvement largely amounted making a few edits and signing Yoo’s legal work?
Then there’s the report itself. The bar for disciplinary action is incredibly high. Legal ethics experts, like Geoffrey Hazard at the University of Pennyslvania, say they expect nothing to happen, even if the state disciplinary boards were to investigate.
Greenberg then details the degree to which the preparation of the report looks like “old-fashioned politics.” The only debatable part is “old-fashioned.” This exercise is part of a much more recent strain called Bush Derangement Syndrome.